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Short on Time, Big on Impact: 5 Five-Minute Money Tasks to Improve Your Finances

Navigating the daily hustle can feel like a juggling act, with each day presenting a unique set of challenges. From staying fit and practicing self-care to excelling at work and managing the intricacies of family life, there’s a lot on our plates. 

But despite our ability to achieve remarkable feats, we have to accept that we’re not superhuman, capable of giving our total effort to everything competing for our attention without eventually experiencing burnout. 

That’s why particular seasons in life might prompt us to scale back in certain areas to prioritize others without entirely neglecting any important aspect.

Why Money Tasks Matter

To put this into perspective, let’s talk money. As life unfolds and pulls you in different directions, staying on top of your finances might not be at the forefront of your thoughts. But that doesn’t diminish its importance in the slightest.

If you’re currently in a season with limited time for financial matters, this is for you. Because when it comes to your finances, even a small commitment to setting time management goals and focusing on task prioritization can make all the difference. 

Instead of tabling your finances for yet another day, we will explore five 5-minute money tasks you can initiate to keep your finances on track without sacrificing time.

Remember, financial success relies on consistent efforts, and these tasks are designed to fit seamlessly into your busy schedule. Take the next five days or five weeks to challenge yourself to check off these tasks one by one!

1. Review and Update Beneficiaries

You’re putting in tremendous effort to accumulate wealth, and the authority to decide its destiny should rightfully be yours — both in the present and when you’re no longer around.

Surprisingly, it’s not uncommon for beneficiary designations to be wrong (as in, no longer in alignment with your wishes), incomplete, or missing entirely. This oversight can be costly (both financially and emotionally), potentially resulting in your hard-earned assets falling into the wrong hands or sparking conflicts among loved ones.

Procrastinating on a money task like this is understandable, though not advisable. After all, it can be unpleasant to think of a time when you’ll no longer be around, and there’s often a perception of having ample time. But life is unpredictable, and it’s not worth it to risk diminishing your financial legacy by not updating your beneficiaries.

Tip: Compile a list of all your financial accounts and life insurance policies. Jot down the names of people, organizations, or better yet — entities, such as a trust — you wish to inherit your assets and reference this list as you add or update your beneficiaries. 

If the number of assets and people you need to consider turns this into more than a 5-minute money task, you can streamline the process by categorizing your assets (i.e., life insurance, retirement, taxable, etc.) and tackling one category at a time!

2. Check Your Credit Report

Your credit score is a vital financial metric as it directly impacts your ability to borrow money and secure favorable interest rates. Consequently, regularly monitoring it is integral to your financial well-being and maintaining creditworthiness.

For this money task, don’t just focus on the three digits that compose your credit score, but review your credit report to identify the factors influencing your score. This exercise is beneficial for gaining a broader perspective and pinpointing areas for improvement, but the main focus of this task is to check for discrepancies and inaccuracies. 

The potential errors you’re looking for might include inaccurate personal information, account discrepancies such as portraying an account as open when it’s closed, duplicate accounts, on-time payments erroneously reported as late, and accounts wrongly linked to you due to identity theft, among other potential issues. 

Tip: You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — once every week. To obtain your free credit reports, you can visit This website is jointly operated by the three credit bureaus and authorized by the U.S. government to provide free credit reports. 

3. Fine-Tune Your Retirement Contributions  

There are a few reasons why you might need to tweak your retirement contributions. The IRS sets annual contribution limits for retirement accounts, which are periodically adjusted for inflation. If you consistently hit the maximum contribution limits, you’ll want to make sure you’re still on track to do so, given the new limits. 

Even if you’ve set up automatic increases to your contribution rate each year, your best bet is still to access your accounts or benefits portal (if dealing with an employer-sponsored plan) to confirm increases are taking place.

Plus, if you’re marking your 50th birthday this year, you’re eligible for catch-up contributions, which allows you to invest even more of your income into retirement accounts.

If you’re not yet maxing out your retirement accounts, this is your chance to evaluate whether you have the flexibility to boost your retirement savings.

Tip: Integrate this with money task #1. You’ll need to access your retirement accounts to update your beneficiaries and adjust your retirement contributions, so make the most of your time by combining these two tasks!

4. Trim Unnecessary Expenses

If you’re living well within your means, you might not feel an urgent need to eliminate expenses that have a minimal impact on your budget, like that unused gym membership or streaming services.

But just because these unnecessary expenses don’t heavily impact your bottom line doesn’t mean you should let their impact lull you into complacency. After all, they’re withdrawn from your account month after month, which can add up significantly over a lifetime. 

When you tally up the cumulative spending on items or services that added value to your life at one point but no longer do, the sum might be more than you anticipate. This surplus spending can be redirected to building wealth or freeing up cash for more purposeful spending. 

This money task isn’t designed to impose restrictions or induce guilt about your spending. On the contrary, it’s about ensuring that your hard-earned dollars are allocated toward items that align with your values, goals, and needs. 

Tip: It can seem daunting and time-consuming to review your expenses in detail (and that’s not the expectation for this 5-minute task!), especially without a formal budget. A simple approach is to print the last three months’ worth of statements from your main spending accounts. Highlight recurring expenses, evaluate their necessity, and decide whether to keep or eliminate them. 

5. Put Your Money Where Your Values Are

Expanding on the idea of purposeful spending, directing your money towards meaningful things often leads to a more fulfilling life. If you’ve started perceiving money only as a resource for paying the bills and preparing for the future, here’s your reminder to stop neglecting the present. 

Invest your 5 minutes for this task to reflect on what brings you joy and fulfillment and make a financial commitment to bring one of those experiences to life in the short term — whether it’s booking a trip, indulging in a spa day, signing up for a class you’ve always wanted to take, attending an event, donating to a charitable cause, or buying a few new outfits. There’s no wrong answer here as long as it holds value for you.

Tip: Make this a regular practice to reinforce the idea that you are worthy of living a life you love in the present and future. Ultimately, fulfillment doesn’t come from money but from its ability to empower you to live on your terms.

Removing the Burden of Managing Your Finances

At Legacy Planning, we understand the delicate balance of managing life’s demands. We firmly believe in the value of delegating important tasks that may be overlooked on our own to-do list, ensuring they receive the attention they deserve. While being financially aware is essential, you don’t necessarily have to do all the heavy lifting by figuring out task prioritization and money moves on your own. 

That’s where I come in. If you’re looking for your financial quarterback to guide you and provide accountability, I’d love to chat and see if we’d be a good fit in working together (because compatibility matters!). You can click here to schedule a conversation today.

Content in this material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


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